In Pursuit of Perfection

 

yesPerfection, beauty and class according to my 8 year old daughter is all tied up in a 2017 KIA SPORTAGE SI (FWD) and anything KIA; at least for now. I doubt she know about its spec’s and the father hasn’t burst her bubble yet with any ‘rotten tomatoes’. At the sight of a KIA, her siblings call out ‘Krissa your car’ and she’s wears that look of satisfaction. I have come to accept that their eye for cars is everything to do with their father.

While driving back home with the children recently we spotted the 2017 KIA, and with all excitement my oldest son said “Mom whatever you do, don’t lose sight of that car,” as I got close, my daughter asked that we do not overtake it, to which I obliged. I pursued the KIA until we were driving right behind it.

In her 8 year old chatter, she goes on to compliment the car and talk about its outward beauty as to ask if the boys can change their minds about their own choices (Alphad for the 11 year old & a Lorry -for the 5 year old.( Might I add choices for now)). Soon we had to part ways with the KIA and she asked them how they felt driving behind it. My love for cars is by osmosis, because in my thought pattern if it is good working condition, I am perfectly comfortable. But on that day, looking at the KIA through my daughters eyes, I must admit we were driving right behind beauty and perfection and it felt good.

One thought or question crossed my mind; if someone can admire and run after outward beauty which fades, how much more if the beauty was inward? I have not experienced the performance of that car; however I guarantee that one wouldn’t spend that much if it wasn’t worth it. The owner must have considered more the excellence and performance of the engine than the vehicle’s outward appearance.

Sometimes we wonder why no one is following us; how about you and I ask ourselves “Does anyone see Christ’s perfection, beauty and class when I show up?” The trueness of these things can only be found in Christ and without Him, is imperfection. Because His perfection dwells on the inside of us, our outward character, persona and general way of life should cause others to want to walk on behind us and not lose sight. This will not only happen because of the outward appearance (kindness, patience, love…) that is visible to them, but more so because of the engine which is Christ; that determines the performance of this vehicle (you and me). A perfect man worth following can only be found in Christ.

Christ was and still is the epitome of perfection, beauty and class and the pursuit of Him we must seek and desire never to lose. Christ perfected in us will cause others to see Him and desire to follow Him closely. And only then can they desire to fully embrace the Vehicle they see.

The only perfection that can be found in my life is Christ’s perfection covering my imperfection. – Kristi F.

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The Absent Eye

Absent-fatherUnlike back in the century when and where the bigger portion of men as fathers, were absent because they had to go to war which was mandatory for some and an honourable way for others to serve their countries, today many fathers are absent by choice. Many of the men who had families (wife, child (ren) or both) while at war, charged their friends with one request;

“If I don’t make it back, will you please look after my boy, my girl, my family; will you tell my child/children I thought about them…?”

It was an unwritten code of ethic amongst themselves and those who made it back, kept their promises in honour of their fallen friends to be present at every milestone of these children’s lives. And while many grew up without their biological fathers, most of these children did not the lack presence of a father. In this day, men have no shame in stealing from the orphans of their ‘so called’ friends, forgetting any promises made. It is an ‘every man for himself’ world

In an ideal situation, a school letter is sent inviting ‘the parents’ of a child for meetings, visiting days, concerts, prayers… you can literally count how many fathers are present, and among those half are there because their wives couldn’t make it and begged them to be there. They were even late!

Dear men, how are you helping your sons make better choices than yours? How are you breaking that cycle that you despised so much, a norm that made you question his role in your life? As children they are learning from your unsaid habits which will become second nature to them. The chain of son ship is what Jesus and the Father have, and that is what He passes on to us as children; it becomes our identity because He has adopted us as sons. God is seeking to fellowship with man as a father to son, so that the chain of son ship between men and their sons is nurtured.

To be physically present but emotionally un involved is absence in itself. How then will you look for the fruit from a tree that you neither planted nor nurtured? You cannot un do your physical fathers absence, but you have it in your capacity to make better your presence by being involved, being physically present so the chain of son ship is established from this generation fourth?

I commend the men who are not only physically present, but also emotionally involved in their children’s upbringing. I also salute the men who have pledged to be involved in the lives of the children of their departed friends – you are honourable.

To the women who are raising boys to men teaching them and showing them the Father God, more Grace to you. You are incredible.

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Disability… Divine Enablement

DiviWhen we think disability, our minds are inclined more to those who are impaired mentally or physically; more so physically. But is that all there is to disability? We are so fooled because we think that the 100% effective functioning of the five natural senses bring us all the enablement we need. I can walk, work, think, smell, touch ….

Whilst they enable us in many ways, have you ever found yourself between a rock and a hard place? Have you considered how old you are and how so little you have achieved? Have you considered how much in fees your children will need in the near future exceeds all your current earning portfolios’ put together? How the best doctors have failed to figure out your ailment yet you are in constant pain? Incarceration even when a fly can attest to your innocence? Been forced to consider how much time you are left to live because of a terminal disease?  When you can’t find that important document, when you do not have the ‘connections’, stuck at cross roads… even my five senses cannot answer and fathom the magnitude of disability displayed in all this. In all humanness, we are limited without the divinity of God.

Disability is defined as a physical or mental condition that limits a person’s movements, senses, or activities. It is one characterised by a condition of disorder, learning difficulties, impairment…..

Even with all our faculties in the form of the five senses alive and functional, we are disabled at certain moments of weakness in our lives. No one enjoys tough moments, or moments of weakness because they are conditions which all our human enablement cannot get us out of. Disabilities of any kind put us in a place of vulnerability and dependence. It is a place of abandon where pride, ego, self,… lay themselves down and bare up the sufficiency of Grace in Him where strength is made perfect in weakness.

We were created to live by divine enablement, a dependency on God in and for everything we will ever do. His death provides for us everything pertaining to life and godliness, however it is by the divine enablement of faith that we can tangibly grasp these things.

A few years ago, after losing a child at 26 weeks, we conceived again and the doctors in all their wisdom recommended a McDonald’s stitch at 14 weeks. Even with the stitch I cramped for several months while on bed rest with no activity as the doctors had recommended. The doctors thought to remove the stitch and let nature take its course because when our abilities come to an end, we become disabled. They kept the stitch, thanking God for each day and believing for a better tomorrow. I carried that child to full term only by divine enablement.

It is only at the end of yours and my ability that we will realise how disabled we are. And it is then and only then that we will come to the realisation that we were created to be divinely dependant on Him and not on the abilities of our five senses. You may be facing something so huge, a loss, a thorn like that of Paul,…whatever it is, may that disability make you lean on the divinity of God for strength and direction. Only He can make that loss bearable, send you the right people, and show you the right direction to take.

I pray that His strength be made perfect in your moments of disability through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen

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Stand with Hope

hope.jpgWho can suffer hopelessness when everything is working out according to plan and going on well at that? Absolutely none. However when your world seems to crumble on one part, or the whole, when the job seems to be threatened, when your marriage is going haywire, children are turning out different than you expected, failing health…..and the list goes on; then the feeling of hopelessness creeps in. It can be escalated especially when the downward spiral in sequential in a short span of time.

I have been to many places in my mind, some are happy places, others have been extremely sad. I have also let my mind reside in a certain place where my body is not – Something ‘alien-ish’ if that word even exists! Being physically present but absent in heart, emotion…all out of despair in the light of staff that’s just not working out. And like many others I can also relate with deep pain, disappointment, hurt….

In all humanness, the more one tries to fix these unpleasant turn of events in their human strength, the bigger the despair and so is the growth in hopelessness. It is at that moment that one needs to check who they have believed. Where is your hope? To have hope isn’t to put one leg in Him and the other in your ‘mighty’ strength. It is to fully hope in Him.

Have you met people who you know to have gone through trying times and you know in your heart that if you ever carried similar weight, you would collapse under it? Well I met one recently, all changed and with lots of peace showing from the inside out. Over the last few years she had struggled and I knew that if I were dealt the same blows, that ‘alienish’ me would definitely come out – present in body but absent in spirit. I learned that one can either believe in a power higher that their natural abilities or assume a place of hopelessness. The quickest way out is to run out of this but at times there are circumstances that may be legally binding or otherwise, whereby out isn’t even a cheap or simple option however tempting it is. To give up, to fear what other will say… are things one may go through. But when you have your hope anchored in Christ, it is the safest place to draw strength because He paid the price for everything we could ever suffer. It is in Him and only in HIM that we can find hope to live through the trying times.

 “10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end … – Eph 6:10 – 18

These times of trial or testing will come, at one time or another because we live in a fallen world. I pray and encourage you to stand with Hope especially to those who are facing challenging times, do not give up keep talking to Him and let your focus be steadied on Him. Allow Him to renew your mind by the power His Holy Spirit to give you peace in the midst of the raging storm that having done all, you stand in Him. Amen

That too shall pass.

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In Each Other’s Lives’….

lifeIt is so easy to resolve a matter in anger, to suit yourself or selves. While I thought I was the only sinner saved by grace, I realised that for as long as we had red blood flowing through our veins, the rush of emotions affects us (leaders or not) all in the same way. Don’t you thank God for friends who help us stay on course? We all need those friends who will speak truth to us in the midst of joy, pain, anger…. So us to help us answer the ‘why’ of the moment.

At least once a month we deliberately meet with my friends aka ‘my relatives’ to hung, be vulnerable, laugh, tease each other, argue, differ in opinions, offload, eat, pray, declare, …… when urgency arises, we have made us a priority. It didn’t happen in a day and we are not there yet but are determined not only to Serve with God’s agenda at heart, but to serve each other with Gods agenda. His agenda is love.

Somehow we had all been battling certain things, should we – shouldn’t we as individuals or a couple, contemplating new direction, forgiveness, frustrations, sick relatives and financial constraints. We talked through our pains and frustrations with justifiable courses of action. Thank God for the different strengths in people, one of our wise men started each of us on a healing journey in the midst of so much uncertainty. On the lighter side, we welcomed our newest baby, celebrated new jobs, successes, travel, upcoming staff…. Among the things said, one that stood out so profoundly for me, was a statement made – We are in each other’s lives’ for good there is no turning back on this, we are seeing ourselves as we are.” What did that even mean? I realised that when we started it was a leadership space to go through our fireplace topics and nothing more. Later we started to check on each other beyond just Sunday meeting, there’s a couple among us that looks for a reason to celebrate even a change in hair style, anything to be with people. Another couple ask “How are you and I do not want a political answer?” another couple can thank you even for just saying thank you, and another couple teach us all the ability to smile even when differing in opinions among many other things. These things caused us to stay a little longer with each other… I don’t think I quite know how we got here, I will ask them. life1

Every time we meet is a chance to open ourselves further to each other, follow up on progress made or not made. We are purposing that we have no choice but to open our lives further. I will say this did not happen in a day, and we have not arrived yet, but the greatest thing is it’s a journey with Christ in it. Its intentional and joyous.

Our prayer that night was to be remembered not as celebs, but as legends who will leave a legacy for our children and those following us. We blessed God for being able to…

From my camp diaries

Ivan & Carol, Eric & Barbara, Ivan & Sharon, Herbert & Sylvia and my one Barry thank you for being in my life and years from now, I hope we’re still in each other’s lives.

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The Cross Before Me

cross.jpgIt is fashionable to wear the cross for a necklace, especially because it makes the statement “I am a Christian”, for some regardless of whether their character portrays Christ or not, whether they believe in Him or not. After all its fashion!

Recently I went requiem mass for a friend’s father and unlike many other churches, behind the pulpit area stands a big cross with the image of Jesus nailed to it, a crown of thorns on His head, blood all over body….looking at it; what came to mind was the representation of everything he gave up and all that his death bought and brought for me.

Does He have to be on the cross after all He rose from the dead and is no longer on the cross? May be not but I wonder, is that perhaps what we need to constantly stand before us for right living?

Why do we need that picture to be mentally grafted in our thought pattern? Often we do things that do not reflect the person or character of Jesus and yet claim or seem to confess Christ risen residing on the inside of us. It is sad that a country in which is claimed to have over 70% of the population as Christians (followers and disciples of Jesus), ranks high in corruption, greed, and other vices; the saddest part is that I am counted among the 70%.  If the cross was constantly before us, Why would we be defeated by disease, why would there be egocentric leadership, why would we kill one another, why wouldn’t we rise to leadership challenges, ….. so many whys?

He walked the mile in the ‘world’ for me so that I would come to that place of surrender, leaving the world behind me to follow Him. If he resisted the world that Satan was offering Him at the expense of His soul, so can I. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? Mat 16: 26 His death at the cross, redeemed from the world everything it can ever snatch from me – my soul. The cross before me, is a great reminder of the great exchange; stripes for health, nakedness for clothing, poverty for richness, overcoming sin, everything He never had so I can enjoy … most of all death for life; and for that I am eternally grateful.

To follow him is to be His disciple, to have His heart in everything we do; hating what He hates and loving what He loves. To do what He would do in every situation to show His creation a glimpse of who He is – to do His will on earth as it is in heaven.

Then He said to them all: “if anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me…..”Matt 16:24

If the cross was before me, wouldn’t the world be behind me? The cross is symbolic of the power to overcome the things that so easily ensnare us. If all the 70% Christians had the cross before us, wouldn’t the community and world we are living in today be changed?

May I take up the cross to follow Him and daily die, because if He overcame the grave so will I. May I walk closely behind Him to listen only to Him and never look back. Amen

Keep the cross before us, Lest we forget

Attitude

images (4)Every now and then, at work or in my other circles, I encounter people who wrestle with bad attitudes; I sometimes have to wrestle with my attitude as well. While some of us wrestle, others seem to justify their bad attitudes. Our attitudes are displayed outwardly and they are very reflective of the internal perception of things. Can you imagine that our attitude good or bad affects our performance and reception of anything? It is worse, especially those who are in the service industry with a bad attitude.

What is attitude?

Attitude; a settled way of thinking or feeling about something

Point of view, view, viewpoint, vantage point, frame of mind, way of thinking, way of looking at things, school of thought, perspective, standpoint, position, inclination, orientation, approach, opinion..

Our attitude generally, or over certain areas or specifics of life is perhaps as a result of something that has happened, not happened as expected to us. It should most certainly be reflective of our perception of who God the Father is. He calls us who believe in Him,  to have the same like mindedness as His, and the same attitude towards anything as His. (Phil 2:5). Our attitude should be formed around what the word of God says – Nothing less. When we think God to be mean because He wants to teach us a lesson, that will be our formed perspective of who He is – “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he” – Prov 23:7; our attitude towards others over the same thing, will be no different from our perception of the Father. Let us not deceived.

images (2).jpgI have met people whose performance is so poor and when spoken to, blame everyone else but their poor attitude towards work. When it comes to money, it’s even worse because sadly many even some Christians look at the rich with despise because their thought is that God wants them poor so they can inherit the Kingdom! They kill all effort to make use of their time, talent, … to better their financial status because they are ‘content’ yet they silently envy and beg from those who see time , talent… as a God given resource to be multiplied for influence purposes. Wake up my friend because yours and my attitude has the power to hold us and those under our care as captives.

In light of that ask yourself, how is my attitude? Who do I ask for an honest opinion about my attitude? Can I have good relationships if my attitude towards them is wrong? … These are tough question, however they should guide us to the yardstick of what we believe to be true. And that should be none other than what God says.

“Attitude is how you approach others with your outlook on life, your manners, your posture, your feelings, your mindset, your way of thinking, and your ways of behaving. It all comes from Christ’s work in you.” – Dr Richard J. Krejcir

Have you allowed Christ to do a work in you? Can we let Christ walk you and me over that anger, bitterness, pain, wrong ideology, …. to a place of Who He is in light of them all, so that we can go about having only His point of view on those matters and any matter at that?

Dear Lord, may my life continuously host the presence of the Holy Spirit so that my attitude towards all aspects of life display Christ. May I never forget that for someone out there, I may be the only demonstrator of God they will ever see; in your Name I pray? Amen.

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